South Jersey Democrats Endorse Murphy for Governor

Murphy To Run On Team Of Regular Democratic Party Organization Candidates Led By Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, And Including Party-Endorsed Candidates For County Row Offices and Boards of Freeholders

The Democratic Party leadership in Southern New Jersey has endorsed Phil Murphy for governor, saying he has the experience and vision to revitalize the state's economy and bring needed reforms to Trenton.

Murphy and the region's Democratic leaders have agreed to run together with all candidates endorsed by the county party organizations for State Senate, General Assembly, and county Row Offices and Boards of Freeholders. Their names will appear in the Regular Democratic Organization column in each of the seven southern New Jersey counties.

In endorsing Murphy, the region's Democratic county chairs, State Senate and General Assembly candidates praised his plans to grow the state's economy by investing in infrastructure and innovative business, fully funding public schools to relieve pressure on local taxpayers, and to make college more affordable. They said he would be a champion of middle- and working-class residents whose financial hardships require a governor who understands those concerns and has the fresh, bold ideas needed to resolve them.

In a joint statement supporting Murphy, the county chairmen said:

"Our next governor must be someone with new ideas for moving our economy ahead and making the state a better place to call home. After meeting with Ambassador and talking about our shared middle-class values, we are proud to give him our support.

"We are all concerned about the political hostility and divisive rhetoric so common in our nation and here in our state. We believe that Phil has the temperament and desire to help bridge those divides and bring competence and civility to Trenton. It's time for us to come together to focus on rejuvenating our economy, creating good jobs at livable wages, and ensuring that every child can receive a world-class education from kindergarten through college.

"To accomplish these goals, we need a governor who shares New Jersey's values and who will work in partnership with us to make them a reality. Phil Murphy will be that partner -- and he will be that governor. He is the only candidate with the ability to bring people together for the common good.

"Especially now, faced with the uncertainties of a Donald Trump presidency, we need a governor with the strength and commitment to stand up for New Jersey, a governor who will guide our state with a strong but fair hand. As Democrats, but more importantly as citizens of America, our road back begins right here in New Jersey in 2017.

"Over the coming months, we look forward to joining with Phil as he meets with the residents of South Jersey and listens to their concerns. And we look forward to working with him to confront the serious challenges facing our state."

Chairman Michael Suleiman, Atlantic County
Chairman Joseph Andl, Burlington County
Chairman and State Senator Jim Beach, Camden County
Chairman Jeff Sutherland, Cape May County
Chairman Doug Long, Cumberland County
Chairman and State Senator Fred Madden, Gloucester County
Chairman Steve Caltabiano, Salem County

Suleiman Condemns GOP's Anti-Union Rhetoric

Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman condemned the Atlantic County Republicans for their anti-union rhetoric and attacks on the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters:

"I am deeply troubled by the anti-union rhetoric emanating from the Atlantic County Republicans. They believe the Koch brothers should be allowed to spend billions of dollars influencing our elections, but a labor union supports one of its own for elected office and that’s bad? This is especially ironic considering Republicans in Atlantic County have received $120,000 from the Carpenters Union since 2006.
"I’m proud that our candidates have the support of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, and I’m especially proud that we have the opportunity to elect Union carpenter Steve Stokes to the Freeholder Board on Tuesday.
"Our party will always stand side-by-side with organized labor to improve the lives of working families in Atlantic County."

GOP Chair's Comments about "Stolen" Elections Reprehensible

(Absecon) Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman reprimanded his Republican counterpart for carelessly claiming that the Atlantic County Democrats "steal elections."

Yesterday on The Don Williams Show on 1400 WOND AM, Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis said "we just can't let the Democrats steal another election in this county" and insinuated that the Democrats have used dirty tricks to rig elections.

"Keith Davis is fanning the Donald Trump flame of saying our elections are rigged," said Suleiman. "This kind of rhetoric is totally reprehensible and threatens the integrity of our cherished electoral process."

"If the Atlantic County Democrats are supposedly 'stealing elections,' we're certainly not good at it considering that the Republicans have a super-majority on the Freeholder Board" said Suleiman. "Keith either needs to apologize for his stupid comments or offer substantive proof of what elections we've exactly stolen. He needs to put up or shut up."

"I have every confidence in all of Atlantic County's election officials to conduct a fair and free election next week. Despite what Keith says, I would tell the voters of Atlantic County that your votes will be counted and will matter," said Suleiman.

Letter: County Democratic chairman says Trump is unqualified

It is abundantly clear that Donald Trump is grossly unqualified to be commander-in-chief. He is clueless about international affairs and questions the NATO alliance, which has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy for almost 70 years. Trump says he knows more about ISIS than “the generals do,” but I highly doubt he could even name one United States general.

This past summer, a group of 50 highly acclaimed former national security officials, including former Homeland Security secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, wrote that Trump “would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” Truer words have never been spoken. Perhaps one day the Republicans in this region will also have the courage to speak out against their presidential candidate.

Michael Suleiman

Chairman, Atlantic County Democratic Committee

Galloway Township

Suleiman, Bell Condemn Trump's Vile Remarks Against Women

Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman and former Atlantic County Freeholder Colin Bell responded to presidential candidate Donald Trump's vile remarks about sexually assaulting women:

"Mr. Trump's remarks are downright disgusting," said Chairman Suleiman. "Making light about taking advantage of women and sexually assaulting them should not be tolerated by anyone, much less by a man seeking to become our next commander-in-chief."

"What Donald Trump described doing to women is not just disgusting, it is also a crime, and there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault in New Jersey," said former Atlantic County prosecutor and freeholder Colin Bell, "Not only should local Republicans denounce his criminal behavior but law enforcement should immediately begin an investigation to determine if he committed any of these depraved acts at his Atlantic City casinos and if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges."  Bell pointed out that, as in the case of Bill Cosby, it is possible to bring a criminal prosecution even many years after a sexual assault occurred if corroborating evidence is uncovered.

"If, after all this, the Atlantic County Republicans don't join Republican Freeholder Alex Marino in renouncing Mr. Trump, then none of their members deserve to hold elected office anywhere in Atlantic County," said Suleiman.

Letter: Back Stokes for Freeholder

I support Steve Stokes in the freeholder race for District 4 (Galloway Township, Absecon, Brigantine and Port Republic).

Rich Dase Jr. is a nice enough guy but he has served on the freeholder board for almost 10 years with nothing to show for it. Time and again he has supported the county’s uncheck-ed spending habits while taxes continue to rise. Further, I can’t remember the last time he actually had his own resolution or ordinance up for a vote.

We need actual leadership. Stokes honorably served the nation for 22 years in the Army, including tours in Iraq and at the Pentagon. Now, he’s a union carpenter, whose sole responsibility is to put his members to work. That’s the kind of can-do attitude and fresh new voice needed at the county level.

In this election, we need to move out the old and put in the new. People should disregard party affiliation and vote for the person who won’t just be a rubberstamp for business as usual, and even worse spending as usual.

Jerry Savell

Galloway Township

The Press of Atlantic City, 10-6-2016

Endorsements Pour in for Steve Stokes for Freeholder

The Steve Stokes for Freeholder campaign announced an unprecedented list of endorsements for Stokes’ candidacy, including:

  • New Jersey State AFL-CIO
  • Atlantic-Cape May Central Labor Council (CLC)
  • Atlantic County Council of Education Associations (ACCEA)
  • Stockton Federation of Teachers Local 2275 (SFT)
  • South Jersey Building and Construction Trades

“I’m honored by the outpouring of support by organized labor and working families in Atlantic County,” said Steve Stokes, a Union carpenter and retired Army Master Sergeant. “The residents of Galloway, Absecon, Brigantine and Port Republic deserve a Freeholder that will work hard to make their lives better, not a career politician interested in keeping his seat.”
Despite being an incumbent Freeholder and a member of the NJEA, Freeholder Rich Dase, Jr. failed to get the endorsement of any labor union in Atlantic County, including his own.
“Steve’s always been a fighter,” said former Galloway Councilman Jim Gorman, who is also a member of the executive board of Operating Engineers Local 68. “He wore the uniform of our country and fought to preserve our freedom, he fights on behalf of the members of his union, and he will fight for the people of Atlantic County to get taxes in balance, rejuvenate our economy, and provide services to our seniors.”
“It has been an honor sharing a ballot with our next Freeholder Steve Stokes,” said Absecon Mayor John Armstrong. “We need more partners in county government to continue the success we’ve enjoyed here in Absecon. Steve will be a good friend to our city and help us make Absecon an even better place to live and raise a family.”
Steve Stokes is running in the Fourth Freeholder District, which is made up of the municipalities of Absecon, Brigantine, Galloway Township and Port Republic. For more information about Steve Stokes, go to

Mazzeo: Don't be misled by supporters of North Jersey casinos

By Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D - Atlantic)

Last week, Jeffrey Gural, the man behind the effort to put a casino in the Meadowlands Racetrack complex in Bergen County, penned an guest commentary filled with falsehoods about the millions of dollars that would be diverted to Atlantic City for the purposes of economic development and job creation. Nowhere does it say that he stands to profit millions on the backs of South Jersey families.

I feel it necessary to call out Gural and the supporters of this disastrous effort for spreading false promises to voters. Let me be unequivocally clear: Atlantic City receiving $200 million a year is nothing more than conjecture - an attempt to deceive voters into believing that this misguided plan will benefit Atlantic City and the area's hard-working middle-class families and seniors.

Here is the reality: To date, there has been no legislation put forward to provide for the tax rate of these new casinos, where they would be located and how casino operators would be chosen, just to name a few of the mysteries surrounding this issue.

For months, the supporters of this referendum have met behind closed doors without an honest and transparent plan to show the voters. Now, in a matter of days, residents across the state will be receiving their vote-by-mail ballots and will be casting their vote on a referendum without pertinent information from the individuals supporting it.

According to a study by the renowned Morowitz Gaming Advisors, here's what is likely to happen if this referendum passes: North Jersey could take $1.4 billion in gaming dollars out of Atlantic City. That would mean the closure of three to five casinos and loss of over 20,000 jobs, ranging from casino employees and vendors to businesses on the Boardwalk and in surrounding communities. That loss is worth $2 billion from the local economy.

Additionally, Atlantic County - which already leads the nation in home foreclosures - will face an even greater housing crisis with thousands of new families unable to make mortgage payments or put food on the table on for their children.

The supporters of North Jersey casinos have not one study, not one shred of fact to back up their claims. If you believe Atlantic County is on the wrong track now, just wait until two North Jersey casinos open.

In all, whatever new gaming revenue Atlantic City would receive in this scheme will never outweigh the economic collapse the region would face. Never.

The effort to expand casino gaming is on life support. In November, let's end it once and for all. Join me on Election Day in voting no to expanding casino gaming to North Jersey so we can protect hard-working families from being sent to the unemployment line.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, is also a small-business owner.

The Press of Atlantic City, 9/22/16

Stokes: End Veteran Homelessness in Atlantic County

Today, Atlantic County Freeholder District 4 candidate Steve Stokes pledged to accept the Department of Veterans Affairs’ challenge to end Veteran homelessness in Atlantic County.
“The fact that anyone who wore the uniform of the United States has to wander the streets without a home is a disgrace,” said Stokes, who was honorably discharged from the Army as a Master Sergeant after 22 years of service that includes time in Iraq and the Pentagon. “If elected, I will make it a top priority end Veteran homelessness in Atlantic County once and for all.”
In 2009, the VA set a mission to end Veteran homelessness in the United States. Over 800 counties and municipalities nationwide have answered the call. Just recently, Bergen County was the latest locality certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of having a homeless veteran population of “functional zero,” meaning that all of the identified homeless veterans in Bergen County are housed or are in the process of being housed.
“If Bergen County can end Veteran homelessness, so can we,” said Stokes. “While our challenges are far greater and our economy is far worse, there’s no reason why we can’t use the resources of Atlantic County government to help homeless veterans in their time of need, especially given all of the sacrifices they have made for our country.”
According to a count of Atlantic County's homeless veterans conducted by Monarch Housing Associates in January, nearly 73% of them suffer from some kind of disability.
Stokes’ plan to end Veteran homelessness in Atlantic County includes:

  • Appointing a liaison to coordinate efforts between nonprofit organizations, the VA, and state, county and local governments to get veterans the help they need now.
  • Creating a Homelessness Trust Fund to aid homeless veterans, which has proven successful in counties all across New Jersey.
  • Establishing a veterans’ set-aside program in Atlantic County to help veterans find work.

Compilation of Frank LoBiondo Votes 2013-2016

By Kimball Baker, Volunteer Atlantic County Democratic Headquarters

Source:  Atlantic City Press: How Your Lawmakers Voted 

Information provided by Nick Reina

This is a list of Frank LoBiondo votes in Congress over the past four years under 12 issue headings: Health Care, Economic and Worker Justice, Wall Street Reform, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, Women’s Rights, Immigration Reform, Opposing Discrimination, Helping Seniors, Veterans and the Active-Duty Military, Controlling Guns, Improving Education and Children’s Services, Foreign Affairs, and Budget/Rule-Making Processes.


* For cutting health-care benefits.

* For privatizing Medicare and converting it into a voucher system.

* For raising the cost of drugs under Medicare Part D.

* For repealing or hampering the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA);

  No substitute measures have been offered.

*Against an AHCA panel to control Medicare costs.

*Against upholding a preexisting-conditions waiver for health care.

*For delaying or eliminating the individual-mandate portion of AHCA.

*Against broadening the AHCA.

*For restricting AHCA coverage by redefining “full time” from 30

  hours a week to 40 hours a week.

*For suing the President for extending the period during which

  employers could provide AHCA coverage for workers.

*For use of Health Savings Accounts for over-the-counter medicines,

  thus helping to replace the AHCA.



Job Creation

*Against a $40 billion, six-year rail/transit infrastructure project

  funded by the crackdown on companies relocating their headquarters

  to other countries.

Worker Justice

*Against a minimum-wage increase.

*For exempting defense contractors from minimum-wage provisions.

*Against replacing National Labor Relations Board vacancies.

*Against extending jobless-benefits eligibility to the long-term


*Against flexibility on overtime-wage rules.

*For freezing the pay of Federal workers.

*Against considering wage/salary disparities as part of the Treasury

  Secretary’s report to Congress on the national debt.

*For easing of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules on

  issuing company stocks to workers in lieu of higher pay.

Political Justice

*Against lifting unreasonable limits on voting.

*Against publicly identifying political donors who contribute secretly.

*Against the SEC requiring corporations to disclose political

  contributions to political social-welfare groups.


*For lowering taxes on the rich.

*For repealing the Federal estate tax.

*For permanently extending corporate tax breaks created to deal with


*Against denying benefits to businesses reincorporating overseas to

  avoid U.S. taxation.

*Against making productivity pay-raises for workers a condition of tax

  deductions from billion-dollar CEOs’ salaries.

*For reducing Internal Revenue Service funds for catching tax cheats.



*For weakening Dodd-Frank financial regulations.

*For exempting major banks from a Dodd-Frank requirement that

  financial institutions not include risky derivatives trading in their

  taxpayer-insured units.

*For delaying protection of retail investors who consult financial


*For curbing financial oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading


*Against stronger SEC securities-regulation and investor-protection.

*For weakening Federal Reserve rules regarding banks’ debt-to-equity

  ratios, even when minorities, low-income people, and rural populations

  are underserved.

*For subjecting independent financial-regulatory units within the

 Treasury Department to Congressional appropriations and not to

  assessments levied on banks and other financial institutions.



*For weakening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

*For undercutting of individual rights to sue mortgage banks which

  violate CFPB regulations.

*Against CFPB rules for mandatory-arbitration clauses in credit-card


*Against Federal Communications Commission regulation of Internet-

  service rates; such opposition interferes with net neutrality.

*For stripping the Federal Trade Commission of its in-house authority

  to judge whether proposed mergers/acquisitions violate anti-trust

  laws; such stripping would result in higher prescription-drug costs.

*Against stronger inspections of imported meat.

*For allowing banks to engage in risky derivatives trading which results

  in higher gas prices.

*For removing inflation as a factor in the budget-making process; such

  removal would reduce the safety of food and aviation.

*For taking $7 billion away from AMTRAK’s efforts to make long-

 distance rail service better and safer.



Renewable Energy

*Against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program for

  development of renewable-energy technologies.

*For energy budget that halves renewable-energy spending.


*For more corporate representation, and less academic representation,

  On EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, even if corporate candidates

  have a financial interest in Board decisions or have committed major

  environmental violations.

*For overemphasizing fossil-fuel research and downplaying or cutting

  clean-energy researches, programs, and technologies.

Clean Water

*Against EPA regulations which would protect the waters upstream

  from navigable waters.

*Against requiring companies to disclose chemicals endangering public-

  water supplies.

*Against stronger protection of water supplies from copper mines.


*For the Keystone XL Pipeline, waiving environmental laws/rules as


*Against requiring the Keystone XL Pipeline to pay into the Treasury

  Department’s Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

*For weakening reviews of pipeline projects crossing Canada/Mexico


Fracking and Natural Gas

*For speeding up the permitting process for fracking and natural-gas

  pipelines, despite any adverse effects such speeding-up would have on

  safety or any environmental harm caused.

*Against public disclosure of fracking operations.

*Against making sure that fracking is safe and that communities

  involved have maximum input.

*Against banning fracking on Federal/Indian lands.

*For speeding up exports by natural-gas companies, even to countries

  sponsoring terrorism and/or cyber attacks.

Toxic Wastes/Emissions

*Against studying the adverse health effects of mountaintop-removal

  coal-mining and thus expediting regulation of it.

*Against strengthening rules concerning disposal of toxic coal wastes.

*For scaling back Superfund regulations for companies disposing of

  toxic wastes.

*Against EPA limiting carbon emissions for coal/gas-fired power plants.

*Against EPA curbing emissions from the making of brick/clay/ceramic


Oil Drilling/Spilling

*For oil drilling (except off the New Jersey coast).

*Against compensation for California oil-spill victims.

*For exempting Gulf of Mexico oil drillers from Dodd-Frank


Climate Change

*Against EPA researching technologies to combat climate change.

*Against Federal agencies considering climate change in rules

  pertaining to energy projects or oil/gas drilling.

*For requiring the National Science Foundation to justify climate-

  change research as “demonstrably” in the public interest.

*For barring U.S. presidents from addressing climate change in future

  trade negotiations.

Environmental Rule-Making

*For weakening of environmental-stewardship guidelines.

*For curbing National Environmental Policy Act regulation of Federally-

  connected construction, scaling back rules and speeding up reviews.

*For speeding up reforestation and commercial logging in fire-ravaged

  national forests.

*For speeding up Federal mining in the West, waiving environmental

  laws and limiting lawsuits.



Equal Pay for Equal Work

*For impeding regulations which expedite benefits for women and

  require equal pay for equal work.

*For exempting defense contractors from pay-equity provisions for


*Against ensuring that Federal pay-equity lawsuits are not judged to

  be “frivolous”.

Health Care

*Against ensuring that health-care coverage doesn’t raise women’s

  premiums or deny them pregnancy care.

*For redefining “full time” in the AHCA as 40 hours a week instead of

  30, thus significantly reducing the Act’s coverage of women.


*For outlawing abortion rights after 20 weeks and thus threatening

  Roe v. Wade.

*For employers and medical personnel to have a legal claim to

  conscience-based objections to abortion.

*For barring the use of AHCA funds for abortions, despite the Act’s

  provision that women pay for them on their own.

Planned Parenthood

*For defunding Planned Parenthood.

*For slashing funding for Planned Parenthood, with an exemption for

  preventive care, e.g. screening for cervical/breast cancer.

*For denying Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, despite such

  denial’s lessening of women’s access to medical services.

*Against Zika-related reproductive-care assistance to Planned

  Parenthood at a time when the House of Representatives refused

  sufficient funding to attack Zika.



*Against shielding from deportation five million undocumented

  immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens or legal residents born

  before November 20, 2014.

*For the House of Representatives filing a Supreme Court brief

  against the Executive Order shielding these immigrants.

*Against temporarily housing undocumented children at military bases.

*For blocking the Dream Act.



*For removing AHCA provisions to forbid gender bias.

*For raising the costs of Medicare Part D drugs without provision for

  possible gender bias.

*Against ensuring that Federal anti-discrimination lawsuits are not

  judged to be “frivolous”.

*Against upholding an Executive Order banning companies receiving

  Federal contracts from discriminating against employees who are

  lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

*Against enforcement of Administration policies on gender-based

  bathroom access.



*For delaying protection of seniors who consult financial advisors

  concerning their pensions and retirement accounts.

*For removing inflation as a factor in budget deliberations and thus

  reducing aid to nursing homes.

*For raising energy costs for seniors on fixed incomes by speeding up

  natural-gas exports.

*For raising the costs of Medicare Part D drugs, and thus the tax

  burden as well.

*For undercutting the rights of home-buying seniors to sue mortgage

  lenders who violate CFPB regulations.

*Against denying Federal Reserve emergency lending to financial

  institutions which have swindled seniors and their retirement funds.

*For defeating a Department of Labor rule that retirement/pension

  advisors are obligated to put clients’ financial interests over theirs.



*For impeding regulations expediting veterans’ benefits.

*Against hiring staff to clear the backlog of veterans’ claims.

*For delaying protection of veterans who consult financial advisors

  concerning their pensions and retirement accounts.

*For weakening protections against unscrupulous payday-lending

  practices at or near military posts.

*For curbing Federal policing of bank fraud, thus serving the interests

  of payday lenders.

*For endangering veterans’ benefits by calling for the elimination of

  inflation as a factor in budget deliberations.



*Against more criminal-background checks on commercial gun sales.

*Against considering legislation to ban guns/explosives to people on the

  FBI Terror Watch List.

*For curbing Federal policing of bank fraud, thus serving the interests

  of gun sellers.

*Against a National Science Foundation research priority on gun

  violence, which has adverse effects akin to smoking-related deaths

  and highway mortality.

*For blocking enforcement of D.C. gun laws, which ban assault weapons

  and large-capacity magazines and which require handgun registration.



*Against higher standards for education programs.

*Against using inflation in the budget process, a position leading to

  reduction of educational benefits.

*For weakening Federal support of public-school education.

*For variable interest rates on student loans.

*Against the refinancing of student loans.

*Against a requirement that banks which make student loans must

  disclose the amounts and types of brokerage fees, as well as the

  cumulative costs over 10-20 years

*Against states and localities committing to adequate funding for

  education of people with disabilities.

*Against requiring schools in private/charter voucher programs to obey

  provisions of the Civil Rights Act, the Educational Opportunities Act,

  and the Americans with Disabilities Act.



*Against closing Guantanamo despite valid cost and justice concerns.

*For continuing the House of Representatives investigation of Benghazi

  despite Republican admittance of its being used to try to lower Hilary

  Clinton’s poll numbers.

*Against updating the U.S. Government’s war-authority stance.

*Against the U.S.-Iran treaty which dismantles Iran’s nuclear-arms

  program over a 15-year period and provides sanctions relief.

*Against lifting the ban on travel to Cuba.



*For overturning legal doctrines which require judges to defer to

  Executive Branch interpretation of statutes.

*Against clean-budget bill.

*For partial-funding bills which involve no new revenues.

*For making Congressional Budget Office forecasts using supply-side


*For removing inflation as a factor to determine the baseline figure

  for budget deliberations.

*For shielding conventional spending in an emergency military-spending


*Against agencies issuing new regs without repealing existing ones.